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A few words about Malia:
Malia (ΜΑΛΙΑ in Greek), also spelled Mallia is the name
given now to an ancient city on the island of Crete. The original name for the
city is not known. Malia was located on the north coast of the island in a
fertile plain. The city ruins now lie about 2 miles east of the tourist resort
A palace, dating from the Middle Bronze Age, was destroyed by an earthquake
during the Late Bronze Age; Knossos and other sites were also destroyed at
that time. The palace was later rebuilt toward the end of the Late Bronze Age.
Most of the ruins visible today date from this second period of construction.
The palace features a giant central courtyard, 48m x 23m in size. On the south
side are two sets of steps leading upwards and a maze of tiny rooms. Also here
is a strange carved stone which looks like a millstone with a cup attached to
the side of it. This is generally thought to be an altar stone of some sort.
On the north side of the courtyard were storage rooms with giant earthenware
jars, up to two metres tall. These were presumably used for holding olive oil
and other liquids; the floor of these rooms has a complicated drainage system
for carrying away spilt liquids.
The palace of Malia was excavated in 1915 by Hadzidakis, a Greek
archaeologist. However, the palace was surrounded by a village which has only
been recently uncovered. Excavation is still being carried out here. Most of
these new excavations are covered by a giant semi-transparent roof, which
protects them from any torrential rain. In places tourists are allowed to
wander among the ruins, in others walkways allow them to walk above them.
There are rooms which have been identified as metal workshops, ceramic
workshops and meeting rooms.
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